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Trust and the Reference Points for Trustworthiness in Gulf and Western Countries

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  • Herrmann, Benedikt
  • Zeckhauser, Richard Jay
  • Bohnet, Iris

Abstract

Why is private investment so low in Gulf compared to Western countries? We investigate cross-regional differences in trust and reference points for trustworthiness as possible factors. Experiments controlling for cross-regional differences in institutions and beliefs about trustworthiness reveal that Gulf citizens pay much more than Westerners to avoid trusting, and hardly respond when returns to trusting change. These differences can be explained by subjects’ gain/loss utility relative to their region’s reference point for trustworthiness. The relation-based production of trust in the Gulf induces higher levels of trustworthiness, albeit within groups, than the rule-based interactions prevalent in the West.

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File URL: http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/4417252/Bohnet%20Trust%20and%20Reference.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4417252.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4417252

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  1. Bohnet, Iris & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2003. "Trust, Risk and Betrayal," Working Paper Series rwp03-041, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2006. "Reference-Dependent Risk Attitudes," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000001267, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Botond Koszegi & Matthew Rabin, 2005. "A Model of Reference-Dependent Preferences," Levine's Bibliography 784828000000000341, UCLA Department of Economics.
  4. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard H, 1986. "Fairness and the Assumptions of Economics," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(4), pages S285-300, October.
  5. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1997. "Does Social Capital Have an Economic Payoff? A Cross-Country Investigation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1251-88, November.
  6. Greif, Avner, 1994. "Cultural Beliefs and the Organization of Society: A Historical and Theoretical Reflection on Collectivist and Individualist Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 912-50, October.
  7. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Levine's Working Paper Archive 7656, David K. Levine.
  8. Camerer, Colin & Weigelt, Keith, 1988. "Experimental Tests of a Sequential Equilibrium Reputation Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(1), pages 1-36, January.
  9. Xavier Sala-i-Martín & Elsa V. Artadi, 2003. "Economic growth and investment in the Arab world," Economics Working Papers 683, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Binzel, Christine & Fehr, Dietmar, 2013. "Social distance and trust: Experimental evidence from a slum in Cairo," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 99-106.
  2. Francisco Campos-Ortiz & Louis Putterman & T. K. Ahn & Loukas Balafoutas & Mongoljin Batsaikhan & Matthias Sutter, 2012. "Security of Property as a Public Good: Institutions, Socio-Political Environment and Experimental Behavior in Five Countries," Working Papers 2012-12, Banco de México.
  3. Basher, Syed Abul & Fachin, Stefano, 2011. "The long-run relationship between savings and investment in oil-exporting developing countries: A case study of the Gulf Arab States," MPRA Paper 29077, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Aimone, Jason A. & Houser, Daniel, 2013. "Harnessing the benefits of betrayal aversion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 1-8.
  5. de Meza, David Emmanuel & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Reyniers, Diane, 2010. "Disclosure, Trust and Persuasion in Insurance Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 5060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Timothy C. Salmon & Danila Serra, 2013. "Does Social Judgment Diminish Rule Breaking?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-05, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. Dreber, Anna & Rand, David & Wernerfelt, Nils & Worrell, Peter & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2013. "The Decisions of Entrepreneurs and Their Agents: Revealed Levels of Risk Aversion and Betrayal Aversion," Working Paper Series rwp13-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  8. Simon Gaechter & Benedikt Herrmann & Christian Thoeni, 2010. "Culture and Cooperation," Discussion Papers 2010-09, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  9. Breuer, Janice Boucher & McDermott, John, 2012. "Culture, caution, and trust," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 15-23.
  10. Jason Aimone & Daniel Houser, 2008. "What You Don't Know Won't Hurt You: A Laboratory Analysis of Betrayal Aversion," Working Papers 1008, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science, revised Sep 2008.
  11. Kvaløy, Ola & Luzuriaga, Miguel, 2014. "A trust game in loss domain," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014/6, University of Stavanger.

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